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Intrathecal Baclofen Trials


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Intrathecal Baclofen represents a relatively new form of treatment for severe, disabling spasticity. This treatment option uses a special injectable form of a medication which has long been available in oral form for treating spasticity. Before any decision regarding long term use of intrathecal Baclofen in an individual, a candidate's response to the medication has to be assessed to ensure that the drug is going to have the desired effect. This assessment involves injecting from one to three dosages of the medication via lumbar puncture ('spinal tap') during a 1 to 3 day inpatient stay. The trials are conducted by a neurologist and/or anesthesiologist with rehab nursing, physical therapist and (sometimes) occupational therapist participating in monitoring and assessment of functional effect. Ultimately, for the successful candidate, treatment involves implantation of a pump in a surgically-formed 'pocket' in the flank/abdomen, with a small piece of tubing connecting this pump with the spinal-fluid filled space around the base of the spinal column in the back. Pump implants are performed by neurosurgeon Lowell Rosman, MD at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen. Northeast has been a setting for Intrathecal Baclofen trials since 1993.

For additional information and pre-admission instructions, click here.


Last Updated: 03/07/01 | ©2000 Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network